Golden Globe®-winning and Emmy®-nominated BBC AMERICA has announced four new drama co-productions, part of an increased programming spend for 2006.
Partnering with BBC Drama and UK independent production companies Tiger Aspect, Shed Productions and Hartswood Films, this is a major investment step for the cable channel, now distributed in over 46m homes.
BBC AMERICA CEO/President, Bill Hilary said: "BBC AMERICA has really made a name for itself as a showcase for truly great original programming.
"Our co-productions have already been recognized by the Globes and the Emmys and now we're building on this success by more than doubling our co-production budget this year."
BBC AMERICA General Manager, Kathryn Mitchell added: "Being a co-producer gives us a fantastic opportunity to be more creatively involved and ensure that these British-produced dramas have appeal to U.S. viewers.
"These four shows add to a really strong slate of BBC AMERICA co-productions for 2006 - more than triple the number of titles we co-produced last year."
Robin Hood (13 x 60') is a fresh take on the classic legend and the BBC's big primetime drama highlight of the year. Written by Dominic Minghella, it's a Tiger Aspect production for BBC and BBC AMERICA.
The executive producers are Dominic Minghella, Foz Allan (Tiger Aspect) and Kathryn Mitchell (BBC AMERICA). John Yorke is the commissioning editor for the BBC.
Jekyll (6 x 90'), described by its writer Steven Moffat (Coupling, Doctor Who), as "somewhere between a modern horror story and The Odd Couple," is set in 2006 and stars James Nesbitt (Match Point, Bloody Sunday) as Jekyll.
Though they share the same body Hyde is unaware that Jekyll is now married. Using all the resources of modern technology, Jekyll will do anything to protect his family from the dark side. It's a Hartswood Films production in association with Stagescreen Productions for BBC and BBC AMERICA.
The executive producers are Beryl Vertue, Steven Moffat (Hartswood) and Kathryn Mitchell (BBC AMERICA). John Yorke is the commissioning editor for the BBC.
Waterloo Road (8 x 60') is from the makers of Footballers Wive$. The primetime drama follows the lives and loves of teachers, parents and pupils at a failing inner-city high school where each day is a battle.
The school is on the scrap heap and its despondent teachers have given up trying to make a difference as they struggle to cope with their personal problems and nightmare day jobs.
The cast includes Jason Merrells (Cutting It) as Principal Jack Rimmer, Jamie Glover (These Foolish Things) as Vice-Principal Andrew Treneman and Angela Griffin (Cutting It) as teacher Kim Campbell.
Written by Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus (Footballers Wive$), it is a Shed production for the BBC and BBC AMERICA. The executive producers are Brian Park (Shed) and Kathryn Mitchell (BBC AMERICA). John Yorke is the commissioning editor for the BBC.
Low Winter Sun (2 x 90') is a modern gothic tale of murder and corruption where the definitions of good and bad, cop and criminal are anything but straightforward. Set in Edinburgh, it stars Mark Strong (Syriana, The Long Firm) as a police detective who kills for revenge and naively believes he's engineered the perfect crime.
Written by Simon Donald, it's a Tiger Aspect production for Channel 4 and BBC AMERICA. The executive producers are Greg Brenman (Tiger Aspect) and Kathryn Mitchell (BBC AMERICA).
These four new projects join the raft of forthcoming co-productions from BBC AMERICA.
Shakespeare Retold is the modern makeover of the bard's most popular plays due to air in August 2006, comedy-drama Love Soup tells the story of a perfectly suited couple who've never met and Sharpe's Challenge stars Sean Bean as swashbuckling hero Richard Sharpe, who's dispatched to India to save the fate of an Empire and the life of a General's daughter, due to air in September.
Notes to Editors:
For up-to-the-minute information on BBC AMERICA, forthcoming U.S. premieres, artwork and news from the channel, log on to www.press.bbcamerica.com.
BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring razor-sharp comedies, provocative dramas, life-changing makeovers and news with a uniquely global perspective.
BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. BBC AMERICA is distributed by Discovery Networks. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV.
For more information about BBC AMERICA visit www.bbcamerica.com.